The Springbok Women’s Sevens on Friday secured a 19-19 draw in their final pool match against Fiji in the Amsterdam Sevens after going down against the USA and New Zealand earlier in the day. The team delivered their best performance of the season on the opening day, as they showed initiative on attack and tightened up their defence. But despite this they went down 26-7 against the USA and 31-7 against New Zealand.
However, they managed to salvage one fair result in their final match against Fiji. The Springbok Women’s Sevens started their clash against the USA on a solid note with Nosiphiwo Goda scoring the first try of the match to put the team 7-0 ahead. But their lead was short-lived as the USA bounced back strongly with a try to level the scores.
They added another shortly before half time to take a 14-7 lead at the break, and then built on this in the second half with two more tries to secure a 26-7 victory. In their second match South Africa leaked an early try against New Zealand as they missed several one-one tackles. The log-leaders supported this with a second try minutes later thanks to another strong run up-field for a 14-0 lead.
But South Africa hit back strongly by retaining possession and applying pressure on the defence and created two try-scoring chances. They failed to use the first one, but a dummy pass by Mathrin Simmers allowed her to run in a try, which left them trailing 14-7 at the break. New Zealand, however, had the first say in the second half as they scored their third try of the match to stretch their lead to 21-7.
They continued to take advantage of the gaps in the Springbok Women’s Sevens defence as the half progressed to increase their tally to five tries for an encouraging 31-7 victory. The Springbok Women’s Sevens showed fantastic character in the first half of their final pool match against Fiji with tries by Mathrin Simmers and a stunning individual try by speedster Phumeza Gadu, which were both converted, earning them a 14-12 lead at the break. The team, however, was dealt a blow early in the second half as Marithy Pienaar was sin-binned, and Fiji immediately took advantage of this as they found space out wide to score their third try for a 19-14 lead.
South Africa, however, cancelled out the lead thanks to a try in the corner by replacement Jacqueline Kriel, who finished off a fantastic run of play spurred on by Bok Women’s Sevens captain Zenay Jordaan. The conversion, however, was unsuccessful, which left the teams tied at 19-19 with seconds left on the clock. Jordaan’s team, however, had an opportunity to secure a victory after being awarded a penalty, but they opted to kick for touch and settle for the draw.
The competition will conclude on Saturday.
Springbok Women’s Sevens day-one results in the Amsterdam Sevens:
USA 26-7 SA
New Zealand 31-7 SA
SA 19-19 Fiji
Photo credit: Martin Seras Lima